Indian Army in progress to grant Permanent Commission to women officers

Published: August 5, 2020

After all these years, the Indian Army has finally started the process to grant Permanent Commission to eligible women officers. The necessary approval in this regard has recently been accorded by the Ministry of Defence, to the armed forces. The Indian Army has sought applications by August 31 for grant of Permanent Commission (PC) to women officers recruited through Women Special Entry Scheme and Short Service Commission.

Background

This has been made possible post the landmark judgment by the Apex Court in February 2020 in which the SC has directed the government that all serving women officers recruited under the short service schemes should be considered for grant of Permanent Commission. Otherwise, it will tantamount to discrimination in public employment on the basis of gender and thereby violating the structure of our constitution.

Highlights of PC

At present, the 10 streams where the women officers are being considered for grant of Permanent Commission are – army air defence, signals, engineers, army aviation, electronics and mechanical engineers, army service corps and intelligence corps. Along with this, already women officers are granted permanent commission – Judge Advocate General and Education.

What is the Short Service Commission?

The women officers are recruited for SSC for a period of five years, which can be extended up to the period of 14 years. With the grant of permanent commission, women will be able to serve till their age of retirement.

Present Scenario

At present, the army recruits women under SSC for various streams such as air defence, engineering, signals and service and they can serve up to the maximum period of 14 years. The three services have now allowed permanent recruitment of women officers in the select stream such as medical, education, legal, signals, logistic and engineering. The IAF Officers also have the option of seeking PC in all streams except for the flying batch. The Indian Navy has also allowed PC for a host of the streams such as logistics, naval designing, air traffic control, engineering and legal.

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